When you discover how to make cold foam without a frother, you can recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks in your kitchen.
Cold brews and iced lattes are some of the most refreshing coffee drinks to enjoy when the weather is hot or anytime really. If you are a fan of lattes or cappuccinos, then chances are you know the pleasure of foam on top of your espresso. It’s a light and frothy delight on top of the steaming hot, caffeinated drink beneath.
Have you discovered cold foam yet? It’s a fairly new invention. Starbucks introduced it in 2018. The company discovered how much people loved their cappuccinos and created a way to make beautiful iced coffee drinks with foam on top that doesn’t instantly melt.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a barista or own professional equipment to make your favorite foam-topped drinks at home. In this guide, I’ll share some amazing tricks that will help you recreate this delicious coffee topping in your kitchen.
What is Cold Foam
Before I explain what cold foam is, it’s important to understand what hot foam is. Traditionally, a barista makes hot foam by frothing milk with hot steam. They use a milk frother to insert a bunch of steam into the milk all at once. This creates tiny bubbles in the milk and results in a topping that is velvety, creamy, and slightly sweet.
Cold foam is foamed milk that is made to stand on top of cold beverages. Hot foam melts on a cold brew or iced coffee, so the ingredients and method have to change.
Cold foam is milk that is frothed without steam. It turns the milk into a thicker topping that almost resembles meringue. It can be sweet or flavored or served unsweetened. There are a lot of different types of cold foam that you can create.
What is a Milk Frother
A milk frother is a tool that baristas use to make foam on top of lattes or cappuccinos. There are two ways a milk frother might work, depending on which type you have.
One type of milk frother spins the milk quickly with a coiled whisk. It pushes air into the milk and whips it. This is the most common type of frother that people have at home.
Another type of milk frother pushes steam through the tool into the milk creating micro bubbles that turn it into warm foam. This frother is usually an attachment to espresso machines.
Best Type of Milk to Use for Cold Foam
You can use any type of milk to make cold foam at home. The biggest difference will be how well it whips up and how creamy it becomes.
Surprisingly, low-fat milk or 2% fat milk will give you the thickest cold foam due to its high protein content. It is higher in volume, and the bubbles last the longest. You can also use half and half or heavy cream instead of low-fat milk or combine them together.
Most people agree that a combination of 2% milk and heavy cream will give you the thickest and creamiest foam that will stand up best on top of iced coffee.
If you can’t have dairy, I suggest using coconut milk because it has more fat than almond or oat milk. The foam will turn out thicker because the fat whips up better.
You can even whip up a coffee creamer of any flavor or variety and use it as cold foam too. The process is the same.
How to Make Cold Foam without a Frother
Now that you know what cold foam is, let’s look at how to make it at home without a milk frother. There are quite a few easy ways to use kitchen tools you probably already have in your house.
Use a Blender
The easiest and most popular way to make cold foam at home is to use a blender. All you have to do is add a cup of milk to your blender, add the lid, and then pulse it. Start out slowly and increase the speed as it blends. Keep blending it until it becomes fluffy and velvety.
Make Cold Foam with Immersion Blender
Making cold foam with an immersion blender is the same as using a stand blender. Place the cold milk in a cup or bowl. Use the immersion blender to whip up the milk until it becomes foam-like. Just like with the stand blender, start out at a low speed and slowly increase until it reaches the max speed.
Use a French Press
You can use a French Press to make more than just hot coffee. It makes a fantastic cold foam too. Start out by placing the cold milk into the French Press beaker. Then, add the plunger on top of the milk and press down. Keep pressing down and pulling it up. This repetitive motion creates tiny air bubbles in the milk.
It might take a minute or two to do it this way, but it will give you a light and frothy cold foam.
By the way, you can also use your French press to make delicious espresso as well should you want a hot drink later on!
Shake Milk in a Mason Jar
I love this method because it doesn’t use any electricity or fancy tools. Almost everyone has a mason jar with a lid, especially if you like to can your own vegetables.
The main idea behind cold foam is to fill the milk with tiny bubbles. So, just pour your milk into a mason jar and screw the lid on completely. Make sure the lid is on tight because next, you will give it a vigorous shake! Keep shaking until the milk bubbles and foams up.
Hand Whisk the Milk
Using a whisk is another non-electric way to make cold foam. It’s also the most labor-intensive way and takes the longest to achieve the thickest foam consistency.
Add your cold milk or cream to a bowl or glass. Hand whisk the milk until it becomes as thick and bubbly as you like it.
Ideas for How to Use Cold Foam
Now that you know how to make cold foam at home without a milk frother, what do you do with it? There are so many delicious coffee drinks you can make when you just add this cold foam on top. Here are a few of my favorite iced coffee and tea drinks that taste even better topped with cold foam.
Iced Cinamon Latte
I’m a huge fan of the iced cinnamon dolce latte at Starbucks. Make a copycat version at home. First, make the cold foam, but flavor it with sweet cinnamon syrup.
Then, make strong coffee or a shot of hot espresso and pour it over ice. Optionally, add a little bit of the cinnamon syrup to your iced coffee or espresso too.
Finally, add the cinnamon foam on top and sprinkle with more cinnamon.
Vanilla Cream Cold Brew
This is the easiest way to use cold foam. Just add some sweet vanilla syrup to your homemade cold foam. Then, pour your favorite cold brew coffee on top of a cup of ice and gently add the vanilla cold foam on top. The combination of sweet cold foam and strong cold brew is unmatched!
Chocolate lovers, this one is for you!
First, make the iced mocha. To do this, heat a few tablespoons of milk, sugar, and a tablespoon of cocoa powder in a saucepan until it simmers and becomes smooth. Next, remove it from the heat and whisk in your favorite cold brew. Taste it and add more milk or heavy cream if it tastes too strong.
Add this mocha mixture to a cup of ice. Top it with your favorite cold foam. I like to add a drizzle of chocolate syrup on top of the cold foam, just for a little extra sweetness and garnish.
Iced London Fog Tea Latte
You can even make a latte with tea!
To make an iced London Fog tea latte, brew your Earl Grey tea like normal. Then, let it chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes. You want the tea to be completely cold.
Pour the cold tea over some ice, and then top it with your cold foam. You might want to sweeten the tea with some honey and add a little bit of vanilla syrup to the cold foam. Otherwise, this is a very bitter latte.
Copycat Pink Drink
Cold foam tastes amazing when you add it on top of a Starbucks Pink Drink. It’s really simple to recreate this iconic beverage at home. Just mix the following ingredients together:
- 1 cup Tazo Iced Passion Herbal Tea concentrate
- 1 packet of Starbucks VIA Instant Refreshers Very Berry Hibiscus
- 2 cups of cold foam
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- Water and ice
Add the refresher packet to 2 cups of cold water. Mix it and then add the Tazo tea concentrate and mix it all together really well. Pour 1/4 of this tea mixture into a cup that is filled with ice. Add some strawberries, and then top with your cold foam. I prefer to make my pink drink cold foam with coconut milk, so it’s thicker and creamier.
Frequently Asked Questions about Making Cold Foam
What are the ingredients in cold foam?
The ingredients in your cold foam can vary. It can be as simple as just 2% milk. Or, you can flavor the foam with your favorite simple syrup. You can also make foam with your preferred type of milk or combine milk with heavy cream.
The ingredients will change depending on how thick or sweet you want it to be.
Is cold foam the same as whipped cream?
No, cold foam is not the same thing as whipped cream. Whipped cream is thicker and holds its shape better. Both toppings are made by adding air into milk or heavy cream, so it is easy to get them confused.
How do you make homemade vanilla cold foam?
It’s really easy to make homemade vanilla cold foam. Just whip up some milk and add a little bit of vanilla syrup to it. Now you have a sweet vanilla-flavored cold foam that you can use on top of your favorite iced coffee drinks.
Can you froth creamer instead of milk?
Yes, you can froth your favorite coffee creamer instead of milk. This is a shortcut way to make a cold foam that tastes just how you want it to without guessing how much syrup or sugar to add.
In fact, I’ve even heard of people adding MCT oil to their milk when they make cold foam at home. There are so many different ways to make cold foam at home – I can’t wait to hear what you come up with.
How do you make cold foam like Starbucks?
Starbucks sweetens its cold foam with vanilla syrup. If you want your cold foam to taste like Starbucks, I suggest adding a little bit of vanilla syrup to your cold foam before adding it on top of your iced latte.
Cold Foam at Home
Learning how to make cold foam without a frother is easier than you might think. It all comes down to just mixing the milk until the bubbles infuse into it, making it light and frothy. After you master the art of making cold foam, you can use it on top of your favorite cold brew or create all sorts of different iced coffee or tea drinks.
More Home Cooking Tips
If you enjoyed learning how to make cold foam without a milk frother, here are some more cooking tips you will enjoy next.